by Purushottam Darshankar
Cloud represents substantial change in how IT systems are built, used and sold. Economic and competitive factors have forced companies to look to a new model of providing IT services. Instead of building servers and datacenters supported by a significant number of well trained staff and increasing power costs, organizations are looking to outside firms to provide the services they need and take away their pain. However, concerns around security and relinquishing control over sensitive corporate data have been stalling the widespread adoption of cloud computing in the last couple of years.
When it comes to enterprise mobility , it needs to be able to connect to ERP, CRM, SCM , Database or other legacy systems and offer unfettered access to all types of devices, from Apple, Blackberry, NOKIA, Samsung and many more.
The device market being highly fragmented, the question companies face is should this access be a browser based to get rid of device-specific complexity? – But this approach rarely works because people need offline access to enterprise data. The core of this complexity is device platform, i-Phone OS, Goggles Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, WebOS, Symbian, Bada and various Linux flavors. Companies are becoming increasingly frustrated with the limited reach of mobile apps and growing cost of launching and maintaining mobile apps. The cloud that bring in enterprise mobile middleware make the application to work on different device platform and also offer the management console to deploy and manage the applications. Though multidevice support increasingly looks inevitable, the question companies need to answer: Can you afford to support multiple devices for a given business application?
The core advantage of mobile middleware platform available on cloud is that it lets you quickly develop and deploy the application. The platform offers complete solution composed of application development framework, hosted development environment and prebuilt adapters to interact with different backend systems. It also addresses enterprise's mobile security needs - especially remote wipe and lock - through device management solution.
Lots of enterprise software companies have failed to provide the necessary hooks and links that would allow the millions of mobile workers to seamlessly extract the real-time and relevant information from backend systems. Today’s enterprises have added to integration complexities due to their complex, distributed and heterogeneous nature. Some of the enterprise software companies have a solution for i-Phone but not for Blackberries or vice versa, while others have solution that works for Windows mobile but not for others. SAP, which currently supports Windows Mobile for its CRM application, is due to introduce its new release to deliver a mobile version of its CRM product to Blackberries. Now that other device platforms have emerged such as Android, Bada , SAP has acquired Sybase to develop software that lets customers more easily port apps to multiple devices.
There's a particular class of services, needs for the business, that if tried to address in the traditional application-centric models, they become too expensive to start or they tend to be so complex that they fail to take-up. Not everything is applicable for mobility cloud computing, one need to figure out exactly which processes, services, information are good candidates for cloud computing and accordingly offer such services. But a much larger savings can be done if one can restructure the application itself so that it can be delivered and amortized across a much larger user base. There's a huge economic value if the application can take advantage of horizontal scaling – one can add compute capacity easily in a commodity environment to be able to meet demand, and then remove the capacity and use it for another purpose when the demand subsides. Economic viability is a strong driver for companies to go for cloud, and that drive will prevail over technical challenges.